Suspect held after sex attack on man

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The Independent Online

A man has been arrested over a knifepoint sex attack on a middle-aged man in a quiet market town, police said today.

The victim, who was attacked in Wadhurst, East Sussex, in broad daylight, spoke of his ordeal in a statement released by Sussex Police last week.

He told of the difficulty he faced in confiding to his wife what happened after he was stopped by a motorist asking for directions in The Marlpit, at 4.45pm on Friday July 16, and then sexually assaulted.

He said he decided to go public with an appeal for witnesses after sleepless nights fearing the next victim could be a woman or a child.

The man, who is black, said that after the passenger got out of the car he made a racist comment to the driver before hitting the victim in the face, knocking him to his knees.

After the assault the victim said he believed his attacker was disturbed as the driver yelled at him before he got back into the car.

After his attacker escaped, the man took a T-shirt from his bag to staunch the blood from his cut mouth and made his way home.

A police spokeswoman said a 31-year old man was arrested at his home in Lingfield, Surrey, at 9am on Saturday on suspicion of being involved in the assault.

She said he was bailed until September 11 pending further police inquiries. Detectives are still seeking a second man in connection with the assault.

Although racist comments were made during the attack, police said it is not at this stage being treated as racially motivated.

Anyone with information is asked to call Sussex Police on 0845 6070999, quoting Operation Leeming, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.